Guests are getting ready to travel far and wide for the holidays so don’t let a minor customer service snag ruin the festive mood everyone’s in! Here are some top tips for customer satisfaction, both on-site and online.
Make a great first impression through your website
We cannot stress enough how important your website is to your business. In today’s online world, your website is generally the first thing potential guests will see and if it loads slowly, has outdated photos, or is difficult to navigate, your guests will navigate themselves over to your competitor.
Don't let this be you.
Make sure your website tells your guests what kind of experience they should expect, a clear picture of the accommodations they can enjoy, and why they should book with you immediately for their upcoming vacation.
We’re not suggesting you live at the reception desk 24/7, but your guests shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get a hold of you. Respond to emails in a timely manner, return phone calls as soon as possible, and follow-up to guests posting on your social media channels. If a traveler is still familiarizing themselves with your brand, how quickly and politely you respond may have a big impact if they choose to book or not.
Welcome them to their home-away-from-home
Travelers that prefer smaller, independent inns and bed and breakfasts enjoy that the innkeepers have a genuine interest in them and get to know them on a first name basis. You’ve spent time building a good rapport with your return guests but always extend that welcoming feeling to your new guests.
Customer service is everyone’s job
Excellent customer service should be a value each and every employee holds. No matter what their role is at the property, everyone should be courteous and ready to help a guest in need. Preferably with a smile!
He and Mr. Clean are best friends.
Hold yourself accountable for your guest’s desires or needs. If John Doe requests his Champagne packaged be delivered at 8 p.m., make sure you follow through on his request. It’s often the small details or mistakes that guests share with their family or friends.
Similar to being available, you must be responsive toward guest issues or complaints. Acknowledge the issue and take action to fix it for your guest. How quickly you address any problems will have an impact on that guest’s experience and allow you turn a negative into a positive right before their eyes.
Make it easy for them to share
If you’re a busy bee on your social media networks and enjoy sharing photos of what’s happening at the property, be sure to capture photos of your guests enjoying their stay (with their permission) and share those on your Facebook, Google+, or Twitter accounts. Your guests will probably share that photo with their friends and family, strengthening your relationship with that guest as well as increasing your brand’s awareness.
Say thank you
After they’ve checked out, be sure to send a thank you email! It’s a small gesture that can go a long way. Thank them for choosing your hotel, tell them you hope they had a great experience with you, and ask if they have a spare moment if they could write up a review of your property.
Respond to reviews
If the guest takes the time out of their day to write a review you should reply to it. Whether it’s positive or negative, responding increases your reputation and could be driving more bookings! According to a recent survey by TripAdvisor, “The level of engagement from travelers also increases with the presence of management responses – hotels and B&Bs that have responded to at least one review see 17 percent more engagement from travelers, compared to those with no management responses. Properties that respond to reviews at least 13 percent of the time see a 21 percent boost in engagement, compared to those that never do. This increase in engagement trends upward the more management responds.”
Not sure how to respond to a negative review? Check out these tips for responding to negative reviews.
Stay in touch
Finally, continue your superb customer service even after the guest has left your doorstep. Keep in contact with the guest by sending out timely and informative newsletters, email them with promotions they might be interested in, and ask them to follow you on social media. Stay active with these marketing tactics to stay at the top of your guests’ minds.
The great thing about working with smaller properties is how much value property owners and managers place on having excellent hospitality and customer service skills. So, you tell us your favorite customer satisfaction tips in the comments section below!